Hot Sour Salty Sweet Minted Pork Salad

By • June 28, 2012 7 Comments

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Author Notes: It has been over 100 degrees here for a week and the last thing I have wanted to do is turn on any variety of cooking device. I briefly considered a countertop rotisserie someone gave us- imagining it spinning outside- but decided I really craved something mostly raw and crunchy and settled on this salad. The part that cooks is pretty quick and most of it can be prepped ahead of time. I thought these veggies were a great combo but you could easily use any combination of things that look good (though I really did appreciate the variety of colors). I usually use our lime mint for this, but it appears to not be growing this year (if that is at all possible) so I used regular mint which was great. This works as an entree but could also be served in smaller portions with rice...if you can stand to cook it in this heat. savorthis

Food52 Review: Savorthis has a wonderful ‘hot weather’ salad with this one! While the salad is a bit labor intensive, it’s well worth it. The veggies make for a colorful presentation and offer a pleasing variety of tastes. The raw and crunchy texture is wonderful combined with the dressing; it makes one feel cooler in the hottest of weather. It’s a hit! -Doug WendlingFood52

Serves 2 entrees

Minted Dressing

  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
  • juice of one lime (zest saved)
  • 1/2 cup mint, chopped


  • 2 small zucchinis, julienned
  • 1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas, julienned
  • 2 green onions, green parts sliced, rest saved for another use
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon uncooked glutinous rice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable/canola oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 serrano (or jalapeno), minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • zest from lime
  • 3/4 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 6-8 basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  1. Put zucchini in a strainer, toss liberally with salt and allow to drain in sink or over bowl. Soak onion in cold water. Allow to rest until wilted while you prep the rest of the dish.
  2. Mix all dressing ingredients together until sugar has dissolved. Can be made a day or so ahead of time.
  3. Toast rice in a dry skillet over medium heat, shaking often, until light brown. Put into spice grinder and allow to cool completely before grinding to a fine powder.
  4. Add oil to pan and brown shallots over medium heat.
  5. Rinse zucchini and red onion and pat dry. Toss with carrots, radishes, peas, green onions. Add about half of dressing and toss to coat. Allow to sit for at least 5-10 minutes while you cook the pork for any liquid to be extracted from the veggies.
  6. Add lime zest, garlic and chili (to taste) to shallots. (We shared this with a kid who does not eat spicy food and just added raw chiles to our own bowls, but you can add them here adjusting to your heat tolerance). Stir until fragrant and add pork. Cook until pork is no longer pink and some liquid has formed in pan. Add toasted rice powder and cook a bit longer until starting to brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  7. Toss salad again and pour off excess liquid. Toss with sesame seeds and pork adding more dressing to taste. Garnish with basil and cilantro.

More Great Recipes: Side Dishes|Salads|Pork|Entrees|Vegetables

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